In 2008, President Barack Obama's transition team had 349 agency review personnel who engaged with 62 agencies. The GSA is a sprawling bureaucracy established in 1949 that now has 12,000 employees and a $21 billion budget. Politics Joe Biden 2020 Election Trump Administration Presidential Transition That being said, if there's one person who can overcome this, I think it's Joe Biden. The agency review process will help lay the foundation for meeting these challenges on Day One," said Senator Ted Kaufman, co-chair of the transition team. The GSA provides a presidential transition team with Washington office space and coordinates access to federal agencies to plan potential policy changes with current administration officials, using $6.3 million allocated to support its efforts. "ODNI follows the statutory direction provided in the Presidential Transition Act, which requires ascertainment of the candidate by the administrator of GSA prior to supporting a potential presidential transition. / CBS News. Informal transition planning can occur without the GSA's official blessing. Murphy is a Trump appointee and former Republican staffer on Capitol Hill, and has a reputation as a "diligent professional," according to The New York Times. Biden Team Awaits GSA Certification of Election Win Source: Wall Street Journal Joe Biden's transition team is still waiting for the federal government to formalize his win, a move that would trigger the flow of government resources to the president-elect's team, including more government office space, millions of … "GSA and its Administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law and adhere to prior precedent established by the Clinton Administration in 2000," a spokesperson for GSA told CBS News in a statement earlier this month. The Associated Press and other news organizations reported that Biden gained the electoral votes needed to win the election on Saturday, but President Trump has so far refused to concede and has falsely claimed widespread voter fraud. President-elect Joe Biden speaks to the media Monday in Wilmington, Del. This is a person who knows the government well, and he's surrounded by an experienced team of people that have worked in these government agencies. November 23, 2020 / 6:36 PM MacKichan said he believes GSA Administrator Emily Murphy, a Trump appointee, has so far acted properly. "If I were in her shoes right now, given what has been publicly made available, I think it would be premature," based on the 2000 election. 2020 Elections. Bush administrations, told NPR the law is kind of vague about what this actually means. However, that race involved a dispute over one state with a difference of 537 votes separating the two candidates, and Mr. Biden leads Mr. Trump by thousands of votes in several states. Grace Segers is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital based in Washington, D.C. The election was called at about 11 p.m. on election night, and within about two hours, I received a letter from the GSA administrator ascertaining that Sen. Obama was the president-elect," he said. What does the General Services Administration do during a presidential transition? Mr. Biden's transition team on Monday unveiled members of its coronavirus advisory board, comprised of former health officials and public health experts. ... the General Services Administration has not "ascertained" the winner and Mr. Biden's team is getting antsy. Contracts and Acquisitions – Extensive self-service training on the web, including: Emily Murphy, the head of the General Services Administration (GSA), said in a letter to Mr. Biden on Monday that she was now making "certain post-election resources and services available to assist in the event of a presidential transition.". ", Marchick said Americans want the outgoing administration and the incoming one to collaborate on national security and issues such as getting a COVID-19 vaccine distributed, and that "the sooner that collaboration starts, the better to resolve our multiple crises. The federal General Services Administration on Monday officially recognized Joe Biden as the president-elect, clearing the way for him to begin a formal presidential transition and handover of power. Pressure mounts on federal agency to affirm Biden victory. Marchick points to the delay in the transition to the George W. Bush administration after the Supreme Court ruling. News Brief: Election Certification, ... November 24, 2020 5:08 AM ET. The move is essentially a formal recognition by the current administration that a new president has been elected and a transition will occur. The agency cited the contested 2000 election in which George W. Bush was eventually declared the winner over Al Gore as "prior precedent." USA TODAY'S coverage of the 2020 election continues this week as states certify their vote counts after President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the hard-fought presidential race. © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. "When the 9/11 Commission did their autopsy on what went wrong, one of the things they pointed to was the slow pace of the Bush administration getting their national security team in place. The 9/11 Commission Report found that the shortened transition process after the 2000 election contributed to the nation's unpreparedness for the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Within hours of the General Services Administration’s acknowledgement Monday evening of Biden’s victory in the Nov. 3 election, career federal officials opened the doors of agencies to hundreds of transition aides ready to prepare for his Jan. 20 inauguration. Romney accused Trump on resorting to “overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election.” Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., went after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who held a press conference Thursday presenting a list of far-fetched, thoroughly debunked claims on the 2020 election. Now that process can formally begin, as the leader of the federal agency which oversees the transition has signed a letter of "ascertainment" affirming the victory of President-elect Joe Biden. The head of the General Services Administration, a Trump appointee, did not quite admit that Biden won. “These are issues that the Constitution, federal laws, and state laws leave to the election certification process and decisions by courts of competent … A transition expert familiar with the GSA told CNN that it has “always been a quick decision.” In the 2016 Trump election, the source said, it was made by the Obama administration the day after. Steps to Become a GSA … The Biden transition team did not wait to begin the process. ODNI would not have contact with any transition team until notified by the GSA Administrator," the spokesperson said. Chris Lu, who was former President Barack Obama's transition director in 2008, said the process for his team was much different. ... Pennsylvania is nearing certification of its election results, too. "I take this role seriously and, because of recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results, am transmitting this letter today to make those resources and services available to you," Murphy said in her letter. According to a fact sheet from the Center for Presidential Transition, Mr. Trump's 2016 transition team had 328 agency review personnel engage with 42 government agencies. General Services Administration Administrator should ‘respect the will of the American people,' says Biden team official News Service 17:05 November 11, 2020 AA US President-elect Joe Biden Biden cannot access government funds or communicate with federal agencies until the GSA certifies his win. A key, if little-known Trump administration official has yet to determine formally that Biden won the election, holding up some crucial resources traditionally available to the president-elect. Delaying the process, Lu said, "impede[s] your ability to get a handle on what's happening in these agencies. And they said it impaired our ability to react. The General Services Administration hasn't given Biden's team the resources yet that a presidential transition team traditionally receives. Nov. 24, 2020 (EIRNS)—Citing “recent developments involving legal challenges and certification of election results”—clear references to the decisions announced on Monday in Pennsylvania and Michigan—as the basis for her decision, the Administrator of the General Services Administration … It was clear who won the 2020 election, they argued, unlike in 2000, when the contest was decided by several hundred votes in Florida and a recount that wound up in the Supreme Court. ", Trump May Never Concede And 4 Other 2020 Election Takeaways, Final Act Of Trump Era Could Be As Tumultuous As The Preceding Years, FACT CHECK: Trump's Claim That Biden's Wins Aren't Certified Won't Change The Outcome, Republicans Toggle Between Congratulating Biden And Saying Election Isn't Over Yet, Trump Tried To Make This Election 2016 Again. Transition 2020. It works largely behind the scenes to support other federal entities, with responsibility for managing federal office space, procuring supplies and improving the use of technology across the government. But that decision came only after a December Supreme Court ruling. But again, this is not ideal.". The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has not begun high-level briefings for Mr. Biden. "There's no legal standard contained within this act as to what constitutes the ascertainment," he said. It's unclear whether the State Department has listened in on the calls. US Election 2020: What is GSA ‘ascertainment’ and how does it impact Biden-Harris transition team? "While there will be legal disputes requiring adjudication, the outcome is sufficiently clear that the transition process must now begin," the statement from the center's advisory board said. The transition process is critical because it allows a new administration to begin considering how it will implement its priorities before taking office, and allows incoming officials to gain access to classified intelligence about threats around the world. The General Services Administration hasn't given Biden's team the resources yet that a presidential transition team traditionally receives. ), the chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, which handles election matters, downplayed the impact of a delayed election certification by the federal government. Trump administration allows Biden transition ... Federal agency key to presidential transition... Arizona GOP asks followers if they'd die to overturn Trump loss, The last long-shot chance for Trump allies to challenge election results, Pelosi says lawmakers are "close" to reaching deal on COVID relief proposal, Texas sues over election results in battleground states Biden won, California Privacy/Information We Collect. The GSA said in the weeks following the election that Murphy could not yet ascertain the winner of the presidential race, citing the precedent established after the 2000 election, when court battles over the Florida recount delayed the transition by several weeks. Under the 1963 Presidential Transition Act, it's up to the General Services Administration, or GSA, to determine or "ascertain" the winner of the presidential election, at least as far as starting the process of turning over the keys to the new administration goes. The General Services Administration (GSA) has informed President-elect Joe Biden Monday evening that it has ascertained him as the apparent winner of the 2020 presidential election, paving the way to … In 2000, President Bill Clinton approved classified intelligence briefings for George W. Bush two weeks before the GSA administrator recognized Mr. Bush as the winner. He has spoken to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In a tweet on Monday, Mr. Trump inched closer to a concession, saying that he was "recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.". With arguments about the 2020 presidential election results dragging on, more and more pressure is falling directly on the head of the General Services Administration, Emily Murphy. In a statement, the GSA said its administrator "ascertains the apparent successful candidate once a winner is clear based on the process laid out in the Constitution.". The peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another is one of the cornerstones of American democracy. President-elect Joe Biden has begun planning his transition, naming a team of experts Monday to work on the coronavirus pandemic. First published on November 10, 2020 / 2:24 PM. In a statement earlier this month, an ODNI spokesperson said that the agency would not act until the GSA makes a move. WASHINGTON—Subcommittee on Government Operations Ranking Member Jody Hice (R-Ga.) today wrote Emily Murphy, Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), correcting Democrats’ misrepresentation of the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 and calling on GSA to adhere to the … The GSA is a sprawling bureaucracy established in 1949 that now has 12,000 employees and a $21 billion budget. Delaying the transition process can affect national security. The nonpartisan Center for Presidential Transition, which includes veterans from administrations of both parties, released a statement earlier this month urging the GSA to kickstart the transition process. President-elect Joe Biden speaks to the media Monday in Wilmington, Del. "The work of the agency review teams is critical for protecting national security, addressing the ongoing public health crisis, and demonstrating that America remains the beacon of democracy for the world.". Lu said he is "not aware that this has really ever been an issue in previous elections.". "That slowed the process of the Bush administration getting their national security team in place. The Biden-Harris Transition Team announced key members of its agency review teams on its website earlier this month. Joe Raedle/Getty Images GSA Administrator Emily Murphy, shown here at a 2018 congressional hearing, on Nov. 23 formally ascertained Joe Biden to be the apparent winner of the 2020 presidential election. Democrats demand briefing from GSA chief on delay in ascertaining Biden’s win. In order to start this process, however, federal law states the GSA administrator must first issue a letter of "ascertainment" determining the likely winner of the race. His team has launched a wave of lawsuits challenging various aspects of the election. Murphy is the administrator for the GSA, responsible for ascertaining the election results at a national level and releasing … In 2016, the decision by the GSA acting administrator to begin the transition process occurred on November 9, the day after the election. The election was called at about 11 p.m. on election night, and within about two hours, I received a letter from the GSA administrator ascertaining that Sen. Obama was the president-elect," he said. Become a GSA Vendor Pre-Qualify as a GSA Vendor Most GSA contracts require a company to be in business for at least two years and show an annual revenue of at least $25,000. President Trump has refused to concede the election, even as several states have begun certifying their results. hide caption. Posted: Nov 23, 2020 / 04:50 PM MST / Updated: Nov 23, 2020 / 05:12 PM MST President-elect Joe Biden smiles as he speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. Ed O'Keefe and Andres Triay contributed to this report. "We must be prepared for a seamless transfer of knowledge to the incoming administration to protect our interests at home and abroad. ", In her letter, Murphy said she "did not receive any direction to delay my determination" and did not make any decisions "out of fear or favoritism.". "We urge the Trump administration to immediately begin the post-election transition process and the Biden team to take full advantage of the resources available under the Presidential Transition Act. Biden Team Awaits GSA Certification of Election Win. Mr. Trump's campaign has launched lawsuits in several states to discount votes which it considers to be disputed, although these efforts have so far been unsuccessful. David Barram, the administrator of GSA during the contested 2000 election, has explicitly rejected the idea that the 2020 election is comparable to 2000, saying on a podcast last week that the current situation is “dramatically different” from the one he dealt with that year. Eight months later, we had 9/11," Marchick said. David Marchick, who directs the nonpartisan Center for Presidential Transition, said there are important real-world implications for a delayed transition. GSA offers a wide variety of training for managers and employees throughout the federal government, including web-based, self-training tools and on-site events nationwide. (R-Mo. “GSA does not dictate the outcome of legal disputes and recounts, nor does it determine whether such proceedings are reasonable or justified,” she continued. Copyright © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. Being ascertained as the winner means the president-elect gets office space in each government agency to begin the transition process, along with computers and $9.9 million to begin hiring transition personnel. Robert MacKichan, who was general counsel to the GSA during the Reagan and George H.W. In an initial statement after the election, a GSA spokesperson said that the Biden transition team is receiving pre-elect services which include office space, computers, and background investigations for security clearances. FDA panel meeting could lead to Pfizer vaccine emergency use approval, Watch Live: Pelosi holds press conference amid COVID relief talks, U.S. B-52H bombers fly to Middle East in mission to deter Iran, Biden heading to Georgia to stump for Ossoff and Warnock, GOP lawmaker soliciting Republicans to back Supreme Court election suit, Advocates fight to stop ninth federal execution of 2020, Biden taps Katherine Tai to be U.S. trade representative, Investigation into Hunter Biden's "tax affairs" began in 2018, Your next stimulus check could be for $1,200, $600 or $0, Biden introduces his pick to lead Defense Department, NAACP calls on Biden to appoint a racial equity adviser, Biden to nominate Marcia Fudge to lead HUD, Biden vows to distribute 100 million vaccine doses within first 100 days, Republicans refuse to acknowledge preparations for Biden's inauguration, Latinos to run 2 U.S. agencies that play key role in Hispanics' lives, Biden-Harris tap Clyburn to lead inaugural committee, Biden nominates Xavier Becerra as health secretary, Trump administration allows Biden transition to begin. Mr. Biden has also begun to name several key administration officials, filling key positions on his national security team. GSA Administrator Received ‘Thousands’ of Threats To Declare Biden the Winner, or Else. But one thing Biden cannot do at this point is move into any government office space or receive government funding for the transition. "This was not an issue at all in 2008. It Didn't Go As Planned. Biden transition hangs in limbo, awaiting GSA certification for results to become official ... one week after the 2020 elections, … 2020 Election Results. Mr. Biden expected to announce Tony Blinken, a longtime diplomat and a member of Mr. Biden's inner circle, as his secretary of state. Some contracts require specific skills and experience, especially in technical and service contracts. Mr. Biden has also already begun communicating with foreign leaders, a process that normally runs through the State Department. 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